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Spurs spank slumping Blazers

Spurs 98, Blazers 85

SAN ANTONIO — Something has gone terribly wrong for the Portland Trail Blazers.

With a 98-85 loss to the San Antonio Spurs on Monday night, Portland dropped another notch in the Western Conference standings, to sixth place. Confidence among members of the NBA's highest-paid team has dropped, too.

Just three weeks ago, they led the conference.

"We've always been able to get the big shot, get the big defensive stop, get everything that we need," said Damon Stoudamire, who had six points.

"We're not getting that right now. We're not getting that stop when we need it. We're not getting that bucket when we need it. It's frustrating, but nobody is going to feel sorry for us at this point. Whatever we got to do, we got to do."

The Spurs, meanwhile, continued a late-season charge.

Led by Derek Anderson with 28 points and Tim Duncan, who scored 20 points and tied his career high with 23 rebounds, the conference-leading Spurs won for the 10th time in 11 games. It was their second victory over the Blazers in that span.

For the Blazers, it was the start of a three-game road trip that continues Tuesday night at Dallas and Thursday night at Utah.

HAWKS 108, LAKERS 106: At Atlanta, Jason Terry scored 36 points to lead the Hawks over the Lakers before a crowd of 19,707, the largest for a sports event in Philips Arena history. The victory wasn't clinched until Kobe Bryant missed a shot at the buzzer.

Brevin Knight hit the go-ahead jumper with 1:30 remaining and Toni Kukoc followed with a 3-pointer to give the Hawks a 107-102 lead before the Lakers rallied, only to come up short.

Bryant and Shaquille O'Neal scored 27 points each for the Lakers.

SUPERSONICS 93, 76ERS 89: At Seattle, Philadelphia, playing without Allen Iverson or coach Larry Brown, suffered its first three-game losing streak of the season when Gary Payton led Seattle to victory.

Payton scored 29 points, passing 15,000 for his career, and the Sonics remained alive in the playoff race.

Iverson missed the game with a left hip pointer, while Brown, who has been suffering from disorders of the stomach and esophagus, has undergone medical tests in Philadelphia.